February 15, 2010

Hollywood puts Natives "in a box"

An article on Natives in movies makes several interesting points:

Industry puts Natives ‘in a box,’ panel at Missoula documentary fest says

Chris Eyre's difficulty in finding work:"Just because you do something one way a certain year and it works, doesn't mean you can do it successfully next time," he said. "There is no map. You live hand to mouth a lot. But if it's what you love, it's the greatest thing in the world."The prevalence of contemporary Native stories:"I will say, probably 80 percent of the scripts I'm seeing these days are on contemporary subjects," noted Haynes. "It's a crime that these aren't being realized."The need to make stories universal:"We try to work with our filmmakers to say, ‘Who do you want to watch this film? Who's your target audience?'" said Sneve, whose organization provides funding for Native American film projects. "One thing that's important is that it's a story everybody can relate to."The importance of making movies:"I always think of (filmmaking) as one of the ultimate sovereign acts," said Baca. "It's like running your own small nation; you have to plan and schedule and make sure everybody's doing their job, if you want to make things move smoothly. ... If we continue to build the community, I believe it'll become easier."Comment:  For more on the subject, see WGA Panel on Native Representation, Movies Teach "Racist Assumptions," and DeLanna Studi on Native Roles. For more on the subject in general, see The Best Indian Movies.

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